Top 5 Free and Open Source LMS Tools – Software Advice

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By: Bandita Awasthi on January 28, 2021
Gone are the days when training employees was limited to classroom sessions. With a learning management system (LMS), you can move the entire corporate training process online, from creating courses to tracking progress. The software also lets you add multimedia content and interactive elements to your courses, so the learning experience is fun and engaging for employees.
There are hundreds of LMS tools available on the market, but if you’re looking for free software, there are relatively fewer options. Free LMS software will not only help you save big on IT costs but also let you play around and tailor software functionality to your needs.
To make your search easier, we’ve created a list of the top five free and open source LMS platforms (arranged alphabetically). All tools offer a stand-alone free module that you can choose to upgrade if you need more features. Read our complete product selection methodology here.
Top 5 free and open source LMS tools
4 out of 5 stars
1 review
ATutor is an open source LMS platform that lets you create online learning courses in 30+ languages. You can even share and archive the learning material. You also get access to AContent, a stand-alone tool that has the content authoring, test authoring, and content interoperability features of ATutor.
A view of the homepage in ATutor
A view of the homepage in ATutor (Source)

Here are some key capabilities of ATutor:
Upgrade cost: ATutor is free of cost.
4.7 out of 5 stars
8 reviews
Forma LMS is a learning management platform that specifically caters to the online learning needs of corporates. It helps train employees via online webinars, live classes, self-paced courses, and instructor-led training sessions.
Course catalog in Forma LMS
Course catalog in Forma LMS (Source)

Here are some key capabilities of Forma LMS:
Upgrade cost: Forma LMS is free of cost. But if you want to access its latest version (and newest features), you can become a member of the forma.association by paying a standard fee.
4.2 out of 5 stars
378 reviews
Odoo is a customizable open source suite of business applications. It offers an e-learning platform, Odoo eLearning, that lets you create online courses and learning material. It also allows you to track the progress of employees, measure their performance, and share certificates on course completion.
A list of lessons in Odoo
List of lessons in Odoo (Source)

Here are some key capabilities of Odoo eLearning:
Upgrade cost: Odoo eLearning is forever free.
4.7 out of 5 stars
72 reviews
Open edX is an LMS system that allows you to create various types of online courses, such as instructor-led, blended learning, and self-paced courses. It lets your employees access training content, take notes, bookmark specific lessons, have discussions with their peers, and track their learning progress.
View of an ongoing course in Open edX
View of an ongoing lesson in Open edX (Source)

Here are some key capabilities of Open edX:
Upgrade cost: Open edX is free of cost.
4.2 out of 5 stars
1,588 reviews
Moodle is an open source LMS solution that can be used by corporates as well as educational institutions. It lets you create online courses and learning material for various types of programs, such as compliance training, skill development training, and employee onboarding.
 The “My courses” dashboard in Moodle
The “My courses” dashboard in Moodle (Source)

Here are some key capabilities of Moodle:
Upgrade cost: Moodle is free of cost.
In this article, we’ve featured five top-rated free and open source LMS software options. To choose the one that best fits your needs, follow these steps:
Through one-on-one conversation and personalized recommendations, Software Advice guides you through your software search. In as little as 15 minutes, our software advisors can help you pick the right software for your business needs, so you can feel confident in your choice. Click here to chat with an advisor or schedule a call.

We identified popular products for “free and open source LMS” via incognito Google search on Jan. 5, 2021. Each product that appeared on Google’s result pages (going from the top of the page to the bottom) was evaluated on the criteria given below until we had five qualifying products:
We checked if each product offered at least five out of the nine common key LMS features: grade book, learning paths, course authoring, learner portal, test assessment, compliance tracker, certification, gamification, and mobile learning.
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